Re: Yamaha FG2000 (and FG2500)
FG 2000s and 2500s are âguitarists guitarsâ. They do not have a popular "name" and most musicians have never heard of them. Over the past year I've seen them for occasionally for sale at $US 1000 to $5500. I've never been able to find out any hard information about the FG2000 and 2500 series.
FG2000: By chance or fate, I was fortunate enough to find 4 FG2000s in Bangkok - brand new in their original cardboard boxes - in 1978 or 79. I bought 3 (the 4th and last one was reserved as first prize in a national guitar contest. All were different in headstock details and tuners; all beautifully made and all different in their sound though playability was constant and excellent. I have played my favourite of the 3 daily and probably have enjoyed some 7 or 8,000 hours of pure bliss over the years.
I have to add that when I found my favourite, it was actually hanging on the wall in the shop. Due to Bangkok humidity the strings were black and knotted with corrosion. Despite that, I recognised it as the finest sounding 6 string I had ever heard. That's still true today. I have 12 excellent guitars but the FG2000 gets 90% of my playing time.
I was silly enough to sell one FG2000 but kept the 3rd in case something happens to my favourite.
FG 2500 (the matching 12 string handmade, Brazilian, etc). Once again, fate or chance found me selecting 3 brand new FG2500s in Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia in 1982. Once again, they were still in original cardboard boxes. Although there were 6 or 7, the music store would only sell me 3 but I got to choose the 3 after playing each one. As with the 2000s, details and tone were unique from one to the next. Later, I paid a friend $300 to trade me his new FG2500 for one of mine because his had an exquisite, rich yet delicate tone. I still have the best and one spare. I sold one with the FG2000 mentioned above.
Now I don't know how much of this is true and I don't even recall who spun the tale but........ I was told at one point that in the early 1960's Yamaha acquired its own stock of Brazilian rosewood, ebony and other rare timber logs then shipped the logs to Japan in anticipation of the shortage of such timbers and of making fine guitars. Supposedly, the FG2000 and FG2500 series were intended to compete in the US with the best that Martin had to offer. However, the guitars were not saleable in the US because Yamaha had flooded the market with cheap guitars and their name could not stand up to Martin no matter how good the Yamahas were. (If you have a good FG2000, you already know that there is no popular Martin which can stand up to the tone, balance and artistry of an FG2000 or 2500 - Its like trying to compare a Bulldozer with the original Toyota 2000GT). In the early 70's, $US500 was a lot of money for any guitar and with a weak brand image, Yamaha didn't have a chance of selling them. Why the guitars sat for so many years in their cardboard cartons is a mystery to me except that outside of the US, few people had the $US 500 entry fee. Its also a mystery to me why they were "dumped" in Bangkok or, of all places, Al Khobar where they sold for their original new price though they were 6 to 10 years old.
Of the 6 I owned and 4 that I still have, the signature on the leather patch is the same. If anyone knows the name of the person who built them and signed them, I'd like to know. I owe that person for enriching my life!
If you have one, enjoy it and please treat it with the love and respect it deserves. If you want one hide one away as a collectors item I have no kind words for you and you do not deserve to own one.